(originally posted 9/28/2012)
If there is one resource on the planet that we are not utilizing to the fullest extent is has to be dolphins. While not completely untapped you certainly can’t argue with the stark reality that they are completely undertapped. Mostly because of the fact that you are reading this and can’t argue anything. (One of the downsides to being on the receiving end of a story.) There are so many things we could be doing with them (dolphins) in addition to the obvious ones of looking for sunken treasure and herding tuna. I read somewhere that we are close to figuring out their clicking language so if we can do that we can ask them to teach us all the other fish languages. Take for instance the manta ray. If it can sense fish under the sand using electric signals and such there is no reason we couldn’t ask it to look for oil instead.
I’m just spitballing here. The point is that the ocean probably has a lot to teach us. Now for you Nervous Nellies (This is a perfect example of how difficult is to write, most people assume that you just sit down and start writing away but the truth is that you never get more than a few sentences in before you run into a Nervous Nellie. By that I mean, do you capitalize Nervous Nellie? I’m pretty sure about the Nellie but isn’t nervous an adjective or adverb? I’ll be frank, I have no idea. If my name was Frank then I’d go ahead and capitalize it in that last sentence even though I know it’s an adjective or adverb or something involving action or description or something but I’d assume you the reader would catch on to my funny use of the capitol F. The capitol N isn’t as funny because nobody could be sure I meant it as ironic or I just don’t know any better. See how hard it is write?) out there…
I’m going to go ahead and start that paragraph over, that little digression went on way too long. Ok, I was talking about dolphins and wanted to make sure the ‘timid or worrisome’ readers out there didn’t get their panties in a twist over the idea that by partnering so closely with dolphins that they would learn all our secrets and somehow become a threat. Before you imagine a sky dark with dolphin bombers remember that back in the day when all us mammals were sitting together in the sea it was only humans that crawled up on land and started getting army and handy and fingery. (If you’ll allow me another detour from the main topic I’d like to point out that in the last sentence my automatic spell check only flagged the word fingery. It was perfectly fine with army and handy despite the fact that I was using them in a completely incorrect manner. Now do you see the stress involved in writing? How am I ever going to be able to relax and trust my spell check when it is so obviously ill-equipped to deal with my use of the language? But soldier on I must despite the fact that I only used the word soldier because the word army was still in my head so now I’m certain this story is headed nowhere coherent.)
Simply put it would take the dolphin a few hundred thousand years to evolve hands and I’m sure we’d start to suspect something in all that time. You can’t exactly spring hands onto humanity without us noticing you were up to some evolutionary shenanigans and until that day comes dolphins aren’t going to be able to build any weapons or cool aquatic rebreathers that allow them to move around on land with those dumb little nubby fins they’ve got now. So really they have no choice but to play ball with us. (Was I the only one who suddenly had the quick image of a dolphin hitting a volleyball back to a trainer at Sea World?)
I started off saying that the dolphin has been badly undertapped but I think it’s fair to say that I have done a poor job of giving you examples to support that contention. (Despite the difficulties in writing, I still pride myself on holding my own feet to the fire when it comes to being accountable for a good finished product. If I were a dolphin I’m sure I would hold my fluke to the fire, or the ocean equivalent… a hot thermal vent, if I were dictating this to a human with a typewriter.) The point being I owe you good reader a few examples of why we are not making the most of our dolphin friends but for the life of me I can’t remember any of the dozens that had initially sprung to mind when I started this story due to the fact that with all the Nervous Nellies, handys and wonderings if a thermal vent is really the ocean equivalent of fire I’ve completely lost my train of thought.
Let me try one last time… but I hope that if you take anything from this it’s that writing is hard and you should really think twice before deciding to do it yourself. Much easier being a reader. Unless you want to argue something.
Fuck. (One of the small joys of writing is profanity. Whenever you need a small break in the action throw in a fuck. You might want to write that down.)
Did I mention tuna herding?
I know the army use to strap things to their head and have them retrieve items in the water like lost torpedoes. (I would be remiss in not mentioning the scene in the 1966 version of Batman where a brave dolphin throws himself in the path of a torpedo fired by the Joker and intended for Batman and Robin who at the time are helplessly tied to a floating buoy. Next thing you know they are safely roaring away from the dust-up in their Batboat so we are left to assume that other dolphins must have arrived on the scene and overcome their considerable lack of useful appendages and somehow untied them. If you ever want to teach the dolphins how fucked up our culture has become in the last 50 years just show them our portrayal of the Joker in 1966, the one as played by Jack Nicholson in 1989 and then the Heath Ledger one in 2008. Our evolving view of ‘villains’ will make them glad they stayed in the drink.)
So we have tuna herding and strapping things to their head so they can find our lost torpedoes. And the talking to other fish thing. That’s a pretty convincing argument you have to admit. I introduced the topic, supported my initial proposition and now I’m barreling towards a conclusion. All in all I’d say that was 5 minutes well spent.
Is it all in all or all and all? And why would I use the word dust-up in the one environment where there was literally no dust? I should have gone brouhaha or scrap.
No wonder dolphins don’t write.